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Sun City Girls

The Sun City Girls were a United States experimental rock band formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1982. The members were Alan Bishop (bass guitar, vocals), his brother Richard Bishop (guitar, piano), and the late Charles Gocher (drums). Their name was inspired by Sun City, Arizona, an Arizona retirement community.

They found little mainstream success (and never really sought any), but they continue to inspire a devoted cult following and have recorded numerous critically acclaimed albums, released in small editions by labels like Placebo, Majora, Eclipse Records, Amarillo Records, and their own Abduction imprint. Critic Steve Leggett writes, "Throughout its history SCG has remained a challenging, unpredictable, and eclectic musical unit, operating outside the commercially driven aspirations of the mainstream recording industry, and the group has become somewhat of a beacon to independent musicians and artists everywhere. Writing in the Village Voice, Ted Hendrickson argues, "They've never made any sense, conventionally speaking, and that's what makes them fun.

Originating from the Arizona punk rock scene which included Meat Puppets, JFA and the The Feederz, Sun City Girls quickly began to incorporate lengthy improvisations, beat poetry, surf music, jazz, tape music, and elements of South Asian, South American, Middle Eastern and African musics. SCG performances were often wildly unpredictable, sometimes verging on performance art, with elaborate costumes, kabuki-inspired makeup, and the creation of a festive, ritualistic atmospshere with audience participation. The group's interest in mysticism, paranormal topics (especially UFOs), religious cults and other esoterica is often manifested in their song titles, lyrics and album art.

Until the late 1980s, most of the band's releases were issued on audio cassettes which gained legendary status among cassette culture enthusiasts. But a shift to the LP format had already begun with seminal records such as Sun City Girls (1984), Grotto of Miracles (1986), Torch of the Mystics (1990), Dawn of the Devi (1991), Bright Surroundings, Dark Beginnings (1993), and Kaliflower (1994). Dante's Disneyland Inferno and 330,003 Crossdressers from Beyond the Rig Veda, both double-CDs released in 1996, were perhaps the pinnacle of the band's aesthetic. Frequent SCG collaborators in recent years have included violinist Eyvind Kang and sound engineer Scott Colburn.

The Sun City Girls band remaining members currently reside in Seattle, Washington. Alan Bishop heads the label Sublime Frequencies and performs and releases records under the names Alvarius B and Uncle Jim. In the early 1980s, he was in the shortlived band Paris 1942 with Maureen Tucker from the Velvet Underground. In 2005, he edited a compilation titled Crime and Dissonance of Ennio Morricone's late 1960s and early 1970s soundtrack work. Rick Bishop performs as a solo guitarist under the name Sir Richard Bishop. Charles Gocher released a solo CD called Pint-Sized Spartacus in 1997, and performed with a number of groups, including the Master Musicians of Bukkake, Tripod, and the New Session People.

Gocher died after a long battle with cancer on February 19, 2007. After his death, Alan and Rick announced that they would no longer perform or record music using the Sun City Girls name. However, they do plan to release existing archival Sun City Girls recordings as time permits.

Discography

Note: The cassettes released by Cloaven c. 1987-1990 are listed in the order they were released. The dates of the recording appear after the album title.

  • Sun City Girls LP (Placebo) 1984
  • Grotto of Miracles LP (Placebo) 1986
  • Midnight Cowboys from Ipanema CS (Breakfast Without Meat) 1986, LP/CD reissue (Amarillo Records) 1994
  • Horse Cock Phepner (Placebo) LP/CS 1987
  • God is My Solar System 1982 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Superpower 1982-83 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Hatchet Rain 1983 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Bleach Has Feelings, Too! 1983-85 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • To Cover Up Your Right To Live 1983-85 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Def in Italy 1984 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Folk Songs of The Rich and Evil 1985 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Fresh Kill of a Cape Hunting Dog 1985-86 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Exotica on Five Dollars a Day 1986 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Fruit of The Womb 1986 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Polite Deception 1986 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Famous Asthma 1986-87 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • The Palm Leaves of Victory 1986-87 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Cloaven Theatre #1 1987 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Cloaven Theatre #2 1987 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • Tibetan Jazz 666 1987 CS (Cloaven) 1987
  • The Multiple Hallucinations of an Assassin 1987-88 CS (Cloaven) 1989
  • Cloaven Theatre #3 1988 CS (Cloaven) 1989
  • Audio Letter to Mitch Meyers 1988 CS (Cloaven) 1989
  • That Old Western Sieve 1988 CS (Cloaven) 1989
  • Graverobbing in the Future 1988 CS (Cloaven) 1989
  • Extra-Sensory Defection CS (Cloaven) 1989
  • Torch of the Mystics LP (Majora) 1990, CD reissue (Tupelo) 1993
  • The Great North American Tricksters CS (Cloaven) 1990
  • Dawn of the Devi LP (Majora) 1991
  • Live from Planet Boomerang 2-LP (Majora) 1992
  • Bright Surroundings, Dark Deginnings LP (Majora) 1993, CD reissue (Majora) 1998
  • Valentines from Matahari LP (Majora) 1993, CD reissue (Majora) 1998
  • Live at C.O.N. Artists LP (Poon Village) 1993
  • Pelican 92 CS (Abduction) 1993
  • Kaliflower CD/LP (Abduction) 1993
  • Juggernaut LP (Abduction) 1994
  • Piasa...Devourer of Men LP (Abduction) 1994
  • Jacks Creek LP (Abduction) 1994
  • Dante's Disneyland Inferno 2-CD (Abduction) 1996, 3-LP reissue (Locust) 2002
  • Wah CD (Abduction) 2002
  • 330,003 Crossdressers from Beyond the Rig Veda 2-CD (Abduction) 1996, 3-LP reissue (Locust) 2001
  • Live from the Land of the Rising Sun City Girls CD (Japan Overseas) 1997
  • Box of Chameleons 3-CD box (Abduction) 1997
  • Dulce soundtrack LP (Abduction) 1998
  • Cameo Demons and Their Manifestations CD (Abduction) 2000 - CFR vol. 1
  • The Dreamy Draw CD (Abduction) 2000 - CFR vol. 2
  • Superculto CD (Abduction) 2000 - CFR vol. 3
  • A Bullet Through the Last Temple CD (Abduction) 2000 - CFR vol. 4
  • Severed Finger With a Wedding Ring CD (Abduction) 2000 - CFR vol. 5
  • Sumatran Electric Chair CD (Abduction) 2001 - CFR vol. 6
  • Libyan Dream CD reissue (Abduction) 2001 - CFR vol. 7
  • The Handsome Stranger CD (Abduction) 2001 - CFR vol. 8
  • High Asia/Lo Pacific 2-CD reissue (Abduction) 2001 - CFR vols. 9 & 10
  • Flute and Mask CD (Abduction) 2002
  • God is My Solar System/Superpower 2-LP reissue (Eclipse) 2003
  • Bleach Has Feelings, Too!/To Cover Up Your Right To Live 2-LP reissue (Eclipse) 2003
  • Carnival Folklore Resurrection Radio 2-CD (Abduction) 2004 - CFR vols. 11 & 12
  • The Fresh Kill of a Cape Hunting Dog / Def In Italy 2-LP reissue (Eclipse) 2004
  • 98.6 IS DEATH CD (Abduction) 2004 - CFR vol. 13
  • Folk Songs of the Rich and Evil / Exotica on $5 a Day 2-LP reissue (Eclipse) 2005
  • Uncle Jim's Superstars of Greenwich Meantime LP (Black Velvet Fuckere Records) 2005
  • Static from the Outside Set CD (Abduction) 2006 - CFR vol. 14
  • Uncle Jim's Superstars of Greenwich Meantime CD reissue (Abduction) 2006
  • Live Room CD (Three Lobed) 2006
  • Djinn Funnel LP (Nashazphone) 2006
  • Piano Bar LP (Ri Be Xibalba) 2006
  • For Drummers Only LP (Ri Be Xibalba) 2006
  • Beginnings Dark LP (Enterruption) 2007
  • Mister Lonely: Music From A Film By Harmony Korine with J. Spaceman LP/CD (Drag City) 2008

7" records

  • And So The Dead Tongue Sang (Pulp) 1987
  • You're Never Alone With a Cigarette (Majora) 1990
  • Three Fake Female Orgasms 2x7" (Majora) 1991
  • Let's Just Lounge (Majora) 1992
  • Napoleon and Josephine (Scratch) 1992
  • Caroliner tribute split 7" with the Thinking Fellers (Nuf Sed) 1992
  • Eye Mohini (Majora) 1992
  • Borungku Si Derita 2x7" (Majora) 1993
  • Live...For Chilly (bootleg) 1993
  • Carl the Barber (I Don't Feel a Thing) 2003
  • Uncle Jim's True Confessions of Homeland Security (Empirical) 2003

References

External links

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